Wavering Sexuality During Covid Pandemic

Editor's Note

An exhaustive overview here on sexuality multifaceted flux during recent COVID pandemic, whereby attention is paid to aspects including sexual desires, virtual intimacy, dynamics of isolation, sexual health services, among other relevant issues.  

As the Authors maintain, this essay …serves as a reminder of our collective strength, adaptability, and our ever-present desire to connect, even when the world feels fractured. It is an exploration that celebrates the resilience of humankind, fostering a deeper understanding of our own desires while providing solace in the pursuit of intimacy…

…Fragmented by the disruptive forces of the COVID-19 pandemic, this exploration of human sexuality is both a reflection of our collective experiences and an unyielding search for connection in a time of isolation.

By Subhash Hira, MD, MPH

Professor of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

and Rajiv Hira, MD, MPH

Former Assistant Professor, Intervention Radiology, LTMG Medical College Hospital, Mumbai, India

Wavering Sexuality During Covid Pandemic



In an era of Covid-19 pandemic where physical connection became elusive and intimacy got transformed, this essay on human sexuality emerges as a testament to our resilience, adaptability, and the enduring quest for a deeper understanding of our own sexual desires. Fragmented by the disruptive forces of the COVID-19 pandemic, this exploration of human sexuality is both a reflection of our collective experiences and an unyielding search for connection in a time of isolation.

Human sexuality is a complex and multifaceted topic that has evolved over billions of years. While the study of human sexuality began relatively recently in comparison, say around the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is essential to understand the broader context of sexual evolution and behavior throughout history. During prehistoric times when human beings were evolving, say approximately 4 to 6 million years ago, our ancestors exhibited sexual behaviors that were primarily aimed at reproduction and ensuring the survival of the species. While precise details are scarce due to the limited evidence, it is believed that early humans engaged in heterosexual mating patterns, similar to other primates. Later, with ancient civilizations and cultures such as Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and the Indus Valley’s ancient site called ‘Mohenjo-Daro’ witnessed the development of more complex social structures and belief systems. These societies often associated sexuality with religious and cultural practices. While information on sexual behavior during these eras is mostly derived from artwork, it suggests that the ancient Egyptians celebrated sexual pleasure and fertility, while the Mesopotamians and Indus Valley believed in fertility rituals and sexual equality.

During the Classical Period, the ancient Greeks and Romans were well-known for their diverse perspectives on human sexuality. In ancient Greece, sexual relationships between men were common, alongside with heterosexual relationships for procreation. This phenomenon is known as pederasty, which typically involved an older man mentoring a younger adolescent. Ancient Roman society also exhibited a more open attitude towards sexuality, with practices such as bisexuality and orgies. With the advent of Middle Ages, and the rise of Christianity in Europe, the Middle Ages witnessed a shift in sexual attitudes. The Church played a significant role in shaping sexual morality and emphasized the necessity of procreation within the confines of marriage. Extra-marital sexual activities were condemned and considered sinful. This period also saw the rise of ‘courtly love’, an idealized form of love, romance, flirting, dancing that was illicit but that influenced how people viewed relationships and sexuality. However, during the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, a more nuanced understanding of human sexuality began to emerge. Scholars explored various aspects of sexuality, often challenging and critiquing the Christian teachings. Figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo explored the male form in their artwork, while philosophers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau questioned prevailing societal norms. Sexual sculptures and carvings in ancient temples and caves of India, Thailand, Indonesia were used to document sexual postures of ‘Kamasutra’ for teaching and learnings for adolescents.

The field of sexology emerged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, marking a shift towards scientific study and understanding of human sexuality. Figures like Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, and Alfred Kinsey made significant contributions, revolutionizing the understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual behaviors. This period saw the beginning of exploring and understanding diverse sexual orientations, such as homosexuality and bisexuality. Lately contemporary times starting with the mid-20th century, more liberal attitudes towards human sexuality have continued to evolve. The sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s challenged traditional norms and brought discussions surrounding contraception, reproductive rights, and sexual freedom with multiple sex partners to the forefront. The ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights, gender equality, and sexual education has further shaped modern attitudes and understanding of human sexuality. The knowledge accumulated over years was deflected back into the sexual practice itself in order to shape it as though it came from within and amplify its effect. In this way sexual partners were counselled that knowledge must remain secret, not because an element of infamy that might be attached to it but because of the need to hold it in great reserve for future generations. According to tradition, it was taught that sexual knowledge will lose its effectiveness and its virtue by being divulged. Consequently, relationship with the master who holds the secrets was of paramount importance. The norm ‘to keep this knowledge secret’ is now broken because there is a need felt by the state to understand more about transmission of infections in order to control pandemics. In conclusion, the history of human sexuality spans billions of years, reflecting the complex interplay between biology, culture, and societal norms. It is a continuously evolving field of study that remains a crucial aspect of human existence and shows no signs of diminishing in significance.

There are a variety of reasons why young adults may engage in multiple sex partners. It is important to note that not all young adults engage in this behavior, and individual motivations also vary greatly. However, some potential reasons may include:

  1. Exploration and curiosity: Young adulthood is typically a time of self-discovery and exploration, including exploring one’s own sexuality. Engaging in multiple sexual partners can be a way for some individuals to satisfy their curiosity and learn more about their own desires and preferences.
  2. Lack of commitment: Young adulthood is often a period of transition, exploration, and personal growth. Some individuals may prioritize personal and career goals over committed relationships. Engaging in multiple sex partners may offer a sense of freedom and avoid the perceived commitment and responsibilities of a monogamous relationship.
  3. Social and peer pressures: Social norms and peer influence can play a significant role in shaping sexual behavior. Some young adults may feel pressured to conform to societal expectations or the actions of their peers, which may include having multiple sexual partners.
  4. Desire for variety and excitement: Some young adults may value novelty and variety in their sexual experiences. Engaging in multiple sex partners can offer a sense of excitement, newness, and exploration in their intimate relationships.
  5. Emotional fulfilment: Some individuals may seek emotional connection and validation through sexual encounters. Engaging in multiple sexual relationships allows for the potential to fulfil emotional needs with multiple partners.
  6. Concerns about long-term commitment: Past experiences, personal beliefs, or a fear of commitment may lead some young adults to prefer non-monogamous relationships. Engaging in multiple sex partners can provide a sense of freedom and avoid the potential pressures and expectations of a long-term commitment.

It is vital to remember that everyone’s motivations and experiences are unique, and the decision to have multiple sex partners should always be consensual and based on personal preference, mutual respect, and safe practices.

There could be several reasons why some elderly individuals opt for multiple sex partners:

  1. Increased life expectancy: With advancements in healthcare and better overall quality of life, people are living longer. For example, the average life expectancy of female-to-male in Japan is 87:82 years; in Europe is 83:78; in North America is 79:73; in India is 69:66, in Africa is 64:57 years, respectively. As a result, they may have more opportunities and desires for sexual experiences.
  2. Freedom and liberation: Some elderly individuals may feel freer to explore their sexuality later in life, as varied societal norms and expectations around sexuality have evolved. They may no longer have familial responsibilities or societal pressures, allowing them to embrace their desires and seek multiple partners.
  3. Desire for companionship and intimacy: Loneliness is a common issue among the elderly, especially those who may have lost a long-term partner or experienced significant life changes. Seeking multiple sex partners can be a way to fulfil their need for companionship, intimacy, and human connection.
  4. Increased confidence and better self-image: As people age, they may develop a stronger sense of self and increased self-assurance, which can positively impact their sexual behavior. This newfound confidence may lead them to seek out multiple sex partners.
  5. Sexual fulfilment and pleasure: Sexual desire and pleasure do not diminish with age; in fact, some studies suggest that older individuals may experience increased sexual satisfaction due to decreased performance anxiety and enhanced self-acceptance. Seeking multiple sex partners can help fulfil their sexual desires and provide a source of pleasure.

Regardless of these reasons, it’s important to remember that individual preferences and choices vary greatly, and not all elderly individuals opt for multiple sex partners. It is essential for everyone, regardless of age, to engage in consensual and safe sexual practices.

During Covid-19 pandemic, the following important areas of human sexuality were affected: sexual desires,

1: Defining Sexual Desires

In a world that suddenly closed down and turned inward, the first chapter delves into the complexities of desires, attempting to untangle its intricate web. From the profound longing for physical touch to the exploration of newfound pleasures within the confines of our homes, we examine the shifting landscape of human sexuality, navigating through the fragments of restrained intimacy to avoid Corona virus transmission.

The anatomy and physiology of sexual desire refers to the biological components and processes that contribute to the desire or interest in engaging in sexual activity that ranged between foreplay to penetrative sex.

Anatomy: The anatomical aspects of sexual desire involve various structures and organs in the human body that play a role in the experience of sexual desire. These include:

  1. Brain: The brain is a crucial organ that regulates sexual desire. Certain regions, such as the hypothalamus and limbic system, are particularly involved in processing sexual stimuli and generating sexual desire.
  2. Hormones: Hormones, such as testosterone in males and oestrogen/ progesterone in females, play a key role in sexual desire. These hormones are secreted by the reproductive organs and affect the brain regions involved in sexual motivation. Dopamine and oxytocin from the Pituitary gland in the brain, also known as happy hormones, stimulate and control sexual desire.
  3. Genitalia: Sexual desire involves activation of specific genital structures, such as the penis and clitoris, which have rich nerve endings that enhance sexual pleasure.

Physiology: The physiological processes related to sexual desire encompass various mechanisms and events that occur in the body during sexual arousal. These include:

  1. Neuro-transmitters: Neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, are involved in regulating sexual desire. They act on the brain’s reward and pleasure frontal centers, contributing to the feeling of desire and excitement.
  2. Blood flow: Sexual desire leads to increased blood flow to the genital region, resulting in engorgement and erection of the penis in males and clitoral swelling in females. This increased blood flow is facilitated by the dilation of blood vessels, ensuring adequate oxygenation and promoting sexual response.
  3. Nerve signalling: Nerves play a critical role in transmitting signals from the genital area to the brain, and vice versa. Sensory nerve endings in the genitalia detect sensations and send signals to the brain, triggering sexual desire. Any damage or slowing of nerve conduction due to diabetes or neuropathies cause loss of sexual desire, also known in lay terms as libido.
  4. Psychological factors: While the focus is primarily on anatomy and physiology, it’s important to note that psychological factors, such as emotions, thoughts, and experiences, also influence sexual desire. Psychological arousal and context can affect the physiology of sexual desire, amplifying or inhibiting sexual motivation. Thus, understanding the anatomy and physiology of sexual desire can help shed light on the complex interplay between the body, brain, and psychological factors that contribute to human sexuality. 

2: Virtual Intimacy

The pandemic propelled us into an unprecedented digital realm, where internet-empowered screens and computers became the conduits of human connection. Here, as we dipped into the domain of virtual intimacy, exploring the intricacies of online dating, sexting, and the surge of virtual platforms that expanded the boundaries of sexual exploration. Despite the restricted continuity of physical proximity due to the pandemic, these fragments of intimacy thrived amidst the personal, economic, health, social, and environmental chaos unleashed by Covid-19.

During the pandemic, virtual intimacy served as a means to maintain and foster connections with friends, relatives, jobs, and loved ones while practicing social distancing. Here are some ways virtual intimacy was used during such times:

  1. Video calls: Platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype allowed people to have face-to-face conversations with their loved ones. This helped maintain a sense of connection and intimacy, overcoming physical barriers.
  2. Online dating: Virtual dating platforms provided opportunities for individuals to establish new relationships or maintain existing ones during the pandemic. Video chats, messaging, and other virtual tools helped facilitate getting to know someone and fostering emotional bonds.
  3. Online support groups and psychotherapy: Many individuals relied on support groups and psychotherapy to cope with difficulties during the pandemic. Virtual platforms offered an effective way to access these services, providing a sense of emotional intimacy and support through sharing experiences and seeking professional guidance.
  4. Online gaming: Playing multiplayer games online provided an avenue for social interaction and intimacy during pandemics. Collaborative gameplay allowed individuals to connect, communicate, and build relationships with fellow gamers, fostering a sense of camaraderie.
  5. Virtual events and gatherings: Organizing virtual parties, reunions, or celebrations allowed people to connect and celebrate special occasions together while maintaining social distancing. Virtual platforms offered options for group video calls, shared activities, and interactive experiences, simulating real-life social gatherings.
  6. Long-distance relationships: Virtual intimacy became crucial for couples in long-distance relationships during the pandemic. Regular communication through video calls, messages, and virtual date nights helped maintain emotional and hormonal closeness and preserved the romantic connection despite physical separation.
  7. Sharing personal moments online: Social media platforms was used to share personal stories, photos, or videos, allowing individuals to feel connected and involved in each other’s lives. This helps overcome the absence of physical interactions and fostered a sense of intimacy with a wider network. Virtual intimacy during pandemic, while it did not fully replace physical intimacy, served as an essential tool to mitigate the effects of isolation, loneliness, and uncertainty. It acted as a bridge, providing moments of emotional connection, support, and social interactions, helping individuals navigate challenging times while staying safe from infections.

3: The Dynamics of Isolation

Human sexuality is intricately intertwined with our social fabric, and the isolation imposed by COVID-19 interrupted these delicate threads of our social life. Chapter three examines the profound impact of social distancing, exploring the human longing for touch, hug, kiss, fondling etc and the challenges of maintaining relationships at a distance. Instead, the novel virtual ways in which individuals adapted to sustain emotional and sexual connections.

The dynamics of isolation during COVID-19 restrictions were complex and varied among individuals and communities. It’s important to note that the dynamics of isolation varied across regions depending on the severity and duration of COVID-19 restrictions, as well as the effectiveness of government measures and community adherence to guidelines. Here are some key points:

  1. Social distancing, masking, and hand hygiene: Governments worldwide implemented social distancing guidelines of minimum distance of 6 feet. A variety of face masks, including those made of cotton cloth having a layer of satin and frequent use of hand sanitisers were recommended but these received limited compliance. These led to reduced physical interactions, limiting social gatherings, and increasing isolation.
  2. Quarantine by local health authorities versus self-isolation: Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or had been exposed to someone with the virus were required to self-isolate or quarantine for periods ranging between 7-14 days. This involved staying at home and avoiding contact with others, leading to extended periods of solitude and separation.
  3. Workplace and school closures: Many workplaces and educational institutions were temporarily closed or shifted to remote work and online learning. This disruption to daily routines contributed to isolation, as people were physically separated from their co-workers, classmates, and friends.
  4. Restricted travel and border closures: International and domestic travel restrictions were implemented to prevent the spread of the virus. This led to isolation not only within countries but also globally, as people were unable to visit or be visited by their loved ones living in other regions or countries.
  5. Mental health impact: The extended periods of isolation resulted in increased feelings of loneliness, depression, irritability, and anxiety for many individuals. Lack of social support and limited access to mental health services further exacerbated mental health challenges.
  6. Technology and virtual connections: The use of technology played a crucial role in mitigating the effects of isolation. Virtual platforms and social media allowed people to stay connected with friends and family, work remotely, and attend online to social and cultural events.
  7. Economic impact: COVID-19 restrictions and subsequent job losses or reduced working hours impacted many individuals economically. Financial stress and uncertainty contributed to increased social isolation as people faced challenges in maintaining social connections and participating in activities.

4: Redefining sexual relationships based on sexual pandemics

The pandemic forced us to re-evaluate the very foundation of our relationships and necessitated a redefinition of love, commitment, and companionship. Fragmented by the mental, emotional, and physical constraints of COVID-19, chapter four delves into the various forms of relationships that emerged – from the vitality of long-distance love to navigating the complexities of polyamory (desire for romantic relationships with more than one partner at the same time, mostly considered as illicit) during times marked by physical separation.

  1. Lack of sexual education: One of the crucial lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS and STI pandemics is the importance of comprehensive sexual education. Many individuals did not have access to adequate information about safe sex practices, leading to the rapid spread of these diseases. Proper education programs can help individuals make informed decisions about their desires, frequency, and sexual health, reducing the risk of disease transmission.
  2. Stigma and discrimination: The pandemics highlighted the harmful impact of stigma and discrimination on individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other STIs. This not only created barriers for people to seek testing and treatment but also contributed to the spread of these diseases by driving people underground and making it harder to access preventative measures.
  3. Importance of prevention methods: The HIV/AIDS and STI pandemics highlighted the urgent need for effective prevention methods, such as condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and vaccinations (where available). These prevention measures, when widely accessible and utilized, can significantly reduce the transmission rates of these diseases.
  4. Global collaboration and awareness: The pandemics emphasized the importance of international collaboration and awareness campaigns. Joint efforts by governments, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers have been crucial in raising awareness about safe sex practices, reducing stigma, and ensuring access to testing and treatment for all individuals.
  5. Holistic approach to healthcare: The HIV/AIDS and STI pandemics highlighted the significance of a holistic approach to healthcare, including integrating sexual healthcare into primary healthcare systems. By recognizing sexual health as an integral part of overall well-being, individuals are more likely to seek timely testing, treatment, and follow-up care.
  6. Access to healthcare services: Another important lesson learned during Covid pandemic was the need for accessible and affordable healthcare services. Lack of access to healthcare, especially for marginalized populations, has contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs. Addressing structural barriers to healthcare access is essential in preventing and controlling future pandemics.
  7. Research and development: The pandemics have underscored the importance of ongoing research and development efforts to improve diagnostic tools, treatment options, coping skills, and potential vaccines. Continued investment in science and research is crucial in developing effective strategies to combat future pandemics related to sexual transmission.
  8. Communication and information dissemination: The pandemics taught us the importance of effective communication and information dissemination. Clear and accurate messaging, targeted outreach efforts, and community engagement are essential in spreading awareness about sexual health, prevention measures, and available resources. Overall, the lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS and STI pandemics of the 20th century highlight the need for comprehensive sexual education, prevention methods, global collaboration, accessible healthcare services, and ongoing research to control and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

5: Sexual Health Services during the pandemic

As the world grappled with a devastating Corona virus, attention to sexual health and safety became pivotal, but paradoxically, more complex. This chapter unravels the fragmented landscape of sexual health services during the pandemic, examining the impact on reproductive rights, the rise of telemedicine, and the unique challenges faced by marginalized communities. The case study presented here highlights many issues of personal relationship that became challenging to individuals in Mumbai in 2021.

A young married couple was trying to cope with their social and sexual needs during the Covid pandemic. Husband was working as a plumber in northern suburb of Mumbai and lived in a rented shack. His wife worked as a secretary in a small garment company in a nearby suburb. In April 2020, the national unemployment rate had reached a record high of 23.52% during the national Covid lockdown and both were rendered without jobs. But the second wave delivered another hit to the job market in April and May 2021. Almost for a year, they spent increasing time together! The usual complaint of many families to counsellors was that had to adjust to spending more time together at home due to lockdowns and social distancing measures. While this has provided opportunities for quality family time, it has also posed challenges in terms of maintaining work-life balance and dealing with potential conflicts arising from increased togetherness. Their sexual frequency had reduced from once or twice a week to once a fortnight. Their relationships with identical families in neighbouring shacks became more intimate and they got introduced to consensual partner swapping. In a way, what each partner was otherwise doing individually in terms of multi-partner sex outside the home before the Covid pandemic changed its character to consensual partner exchange; more of a barter system than exchange of scarce cash outside the home. Their episodes of respiratory infections and genital illnesses appeared almost twice a month and counselling on phone as to how to avoid face-to-face sex and use of condoms with casual partners did not get their acceptance. (Posture figure of CDC was shared with the couple on social media) Their bartering of partners in the neighbourhood continued unabated till early 2022 when the couple gradually went back to their workplaces but continued their old and new patterns of sexuality. Again, they ignored compliance with Covid posture and mask, and HIV/AIDS/STI prevention with condom use (sexual tree). They continued to ignore testing and insisted on taking antibiotics whenever infections set in.

6: Healing and reconnection with receding pandemic

Amidst the chaos and fragmentation of psychosexual fabric of communities, humans possess an innate ability to heal and reconnect. The final chapter explores the transformative power of resilience and offers guidance on navigating the fragments of intimacy left behind by the pandemic. From self-exploration to erotic imaginations, we delve into the diverse ways individuals work towards reclaiming and rebuilding their sexual selves.

Despite the uncertainty and unpredictability of COVID-19, our innate human sexuality persistently shines amidst the fragments. This essay serves as a reminder of our collective strength, adaptability, and our ever-present desire to connect, even when the world feels fractured. It is an exploration that celebrates the resilience of humankind, fostering a deeper understanding of our own desires while providing solace in the pursuit of intimacy. Finally, for solace and healing we involved sexual counselling that helped to embrace fragments.

Sexual counselling for responsible sex can encompass a range of topics and approaches, depending on the specific needs and concerns of individuals or couples seeking guidance. Here are some key areas that sexual counselling for responsible sex should focus on:

  1. Education and information: Sexual counsellors provide accurate and reliable information about sexual health, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), respiratory infection, and safe sex practices. This helped individuals make informed choices and reduced the risk of infections.
  2. Consent and communication: Counselling helped individuals and couples develop effective communication skills and understand the importance of consent in sexual relationships. This included learning how to discuss desires, boundaries, and expectations openly and respectfully with partners.
  3. Safer sex practices: Sexual counselling helped individuals or couples explore various methods of planned parenthood, pregnancy control, and understand sexual practices. Counsellors also addressed the importance of regular STI testing and how to reduce the risk of transmission.
  4. Sexual pleasure and satisfaction: Responsible sex involves mutual pleasure and satisfaction for all individuals involved. Counsellors supported clients in exploring and understanding their own sexual desires, needs, and preferences, as well as those of their partners. They provided guidance on enhancing intimacy, exploring different sexual activities and postures, managing love performance anxiety, and addressing concerns related to sexual dysfunctions.
  5. Relationship dynamics: Sexual counselling also addressed broader relationship dynamics that impact responsible sex practices, such as trust, emotional intimacy, conflict resolution, and overall relationship satisfaction. This involved exploring how relationship issues affect sexual experiences and vice versa.
  6. Consent in the digital age: With the growing role of technology in intimate relationships, sexual counselling covered topics related to responsible online sexual activity. This included discussing consent in sexting, sharing explicit media clips such as Kamasutra etc, or engaging in virtual sexual encounters. Overall, sexual counselling for responsible sex aims to support individuals and couples in developing a healthy sexual life while prioritizing communication, consent, safety, and mutual satisfaction. Counsellors provided a non-judgmental and confidential space for clients to explore their concerns, ask questions, and receive appropriate guidance.
The Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian text, does contain information about sexual positions and techniques. While the text does mention group sexual encounters, it primarily focuses on positions for two partners. It is essential to approach such activities with respect, consent, and the well-being of everyone involved. If you are considering exploring sexual activities involving penetrative sex, it is recommended to have open and honest conversations with all parties involved, as well as to educate yourself about safe sex practices, emotional well-being, and always be consensual and safe for all involved parties. 


References / Recommended reading

These are just a few examples of the multitude of articles and books published on sexuality in the past 50 years. The field of sexuality research and discourse has expanded greatly during this time, providing diverse perspectives and knowledge on this important aspect of human life. Here are some significant and influential ones:

  1. “Sexual behavior in the Human Female” by Alfred C. Kinsey et al. (1953): This study was one of the first comprehensive works on human sexual behavior, challenging cultural norms and providing empirical evidence on various aspects of sexuality.
  2. “The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality” by Shere Hite (1976): This groundbreaking publication challenged prevailing notions of female sexuality and highlighted women’s experiences and desires.
  3. “Human Sexual Response” by William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson (1966): This pioneering work examined the physiological and psychological aspects of sexual response, providing a scientific approach to the understanding of human sexual function.
  4. “The Joy of Sex” by Alex Comfort (1972): This popular and widely read book discussed various aspects of human sexuality, including sexual technique, contraceptive methods, and sexual satisfaction.
  5. “The History of Sexuality” by Michel Foucault (1976-1984): This influential series of books explored the social and cultural construction of sexuality, challenging conventional ideas about sexuality as a natural and essential aspect of human identity.
  6. “Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire” by Lisa Diamond (2008): This research-based book challenged the notion that sexual orientation is fixed and explored the concept of sexual fluidity, particularly in women.
  7. “Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships” by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha (2010): This book presented an alternative perspective on human sexuality and questioned conventional narratives about monogamy and sexual behavior.
  8. “Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life” by Emily Nagoski (2015): This book provided an in-depth exploration of female sexuality and how understanding the science behind it can lead to improved sexual well-being.
  9. “The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities” by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (1997): This book challenged societal norms around monogamy and explored the concept of ethical non-monogamy, promoting consensual and responsible open relationships.
  10. “Savage Love” by Dan Savage (1991-present): This advice column-turned-book addressed various aspects of sexuality and relationships, exploring topics such as sexual orientation, kink, and communication.